back to article Amazon India execs questioned after sellers allegedly use site to smuggle marijuana

Police in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have questioned Amazon India executives under narcotics laws, after uncovering a marijuana smuggling operation centered around the e-commerce website. On November 14, police allege, two men caught possessing 20kg of cannabis were using Amazon India to sell their product across state …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're being a dope about this.

    First you get all fired up over the crime but then you huff and puff your way through TFA just to watch it all go up in smoke. For shame! You should have bonged out a better story that made us all inhale sharply over the fact that the hits just kept coming. Instead we're left coughing and wheezing over such a hack job that it all ends up blunted to a nub.

    (Inserts a joke icon for the sarcasm-deprived.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're being a dope about this.

      One might say they made a hash job of it?

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    So, at what point

    Does the average drug-consuming punter recognise 'stevia leaves' as a synonym for 'cannabis', and how is the AI statistical analysis supposed to recognise it?

    "computing, computing, ah, stevia sales are up, people are eating less sugar, that'll be good for reducing diabetes for the fleshy life-forms"?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: So, at what point

      Actually sugar substitutes are now thought to contribute to type 2 diabetes. Ingesting something sweet sets off the gut neurons that instruct the production of insulin which then has nothing to do, the surplus of unused insulin in some people can then lead to an insulin allergy that becomes type 2 diabetes.

      At least that is how it was explained by a mate who developed type 2.

      For those in India who would like a sweet trip, Nepalese hallucinogenic honey is worth trying, allegedly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, at what point

        There's a difference between what someone perceives as a "taste" - and the effect of the chemical elsewhere in the body. Some potential sweeteners are sugar isomers. They have the same overall chemical composition but differ in the molecule's internal linkages. A chemical reaction can be dependent on the particular isomer form.

        The human taste system is surprisingly non-specific - so can be fooled. A strawberry's sugar content is no different from many other fruits - but by evolution fools us into thinking it is sweeter.

        Type 2 Diabetes appears to be a symptom for which there may be many different triggers. Genetics and obesity are major pre-dispositions. A recent study has said that even the 12% who have never been overweight - can possibly reverse the condition by losing 10% of their weight. This is attributed to a build-up of fat round certain organs.

        Other trigger factors are irregular meal patterns, irregular sleep patterns, and stressful jobs.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: So, at what point

          Yes... the doctor decided it was stress that triggered mine fifteen years ago... since moving from the UK to Germany, the local doctors changed my medication, resulting in my losing 12kg in three months (well over 10% of my body weight) but not significantly changing my long term blood sugar.

          At about the time they were seriously considering moving me onto injected insulin, they found some research that suggested other medical issues were buggering around with my long term results, tried a different method, and discovered I wasn't as ill as they thought I was :)

    2. Keith Langmead

      Re: So, at what point

      "and how is the AI statistical analysis supposed to recognise it?"

      Quite easily, simply insert the standard amount of governmental lack of knowledge of a topic, add a chorus of "you employ lots of very clever people, so you MUST be able to find a way", and then ignore any replies from those same "clever people" when they point out the thing isn't actually possible/practical.

      It's the same process as we see from our Home Office demanding the tech companies both 1) keep everyone 100% secure online, and 2) allow the authorities full access to that same data.

  3. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Angel

    Amazon has vast artificial intelligence capabilities and should therefore have been able to nip the crimes in the bud.

    1. I see what you did there

    2. That's what happens when you crow about how powerful your artificial intelligence is

  4. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Amazon has vast artificial intelligence capabilities and should therefore have been able to...

    ... detect any currently fashionable Indian street slang for weed. Because computers are all clever and stuff and we expect them to know what everyone really means whatever they say...... Presumably following this arrest Amazon will be forced to recruit some Indian drug dealers in order to train their AI and avoid future prosecutions.

    1. casaloco

      Re: Amazon has vast artificial intelligence capabilities and should therefore have been able to...

      They should have a team responsible for adding and updating keywords.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

    Pity this does not extend to counterfeit items

    I'd really like to see UK trading standards raid an Amazon fulfilment centre for all the counterfeit good that are sent via the platform. Better yet if it was closed for some time as the issue was investigated.

    Why do Amazon seem to get a free pass on this ?

  6. casaloco

    Fixed:

    Amazon got in touch to say: "Amazon, as a matter of company policy, will be pushing the local executives under a bus"

  7. knarf

    Always wondered who buys those £4K books

    Maybe its not a book or maybe a book of leafs

    1. Is It Me

      Re: Always wondered who buys those £4K books

      There are rumours that they are used for money transfers and laundering.

      Also it can be down to a pricing algorithm going screwy

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Always wondered who buys those £4K books

        On ebay some dealers add a large prefix to a product's price when they temporarily don't want to sell any. Apparently a price change is easier than de-listing and then later re-listing.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Always wondered who buys those £4K books

          There are also bored billionaires who browse Ebay when their wives are asleep. They buy four digit junk instead of jewellery to make a point.

        2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Always wondered who buys those £4K books

          "On ebay some dealers add a large prefix to a product's price when they temporarily don't want to sell any."

          CDW used to do that, too. $99,999 for a 250 GB Seagate hard drive? eh, maybe not today.

      2. goldcd

        Re: Always wondered who buys those £4K books

        Also handy way to inflate the price of something obscure.

        List it on a few different sites for an outrageous sum (maybe even fake a sale to yourself)- then offer it to sale to a third party at half the price. They then check what it's going for and think they're going to be able to sell it for a profit.

  8. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Leaves

    What's the fuss about. You can buy cannabis leaves on UK Amazon...

  9. Sherrie Ludwig

    I've heard of a sugar high, but this is....different.

  10. EricB123 Bronze badge

    Death Penalty?

    I wonder if India's drug laws are as strict as Indonesia. The international entrance form to enter Indonesia says something Like "The penalty for bringing in narcotics to the Islamic Republic of Indonesia IS DEATH. And your signature goes right under the IS DEATH part.

    Not that the execs would ever get as much as a wrist slap in India though.

  11. sketharaman

    What about Returns?

    Any news on whether the customers who ordered Stevia Leaves because, you know, they actually wanted Stevia Leaves, file for returns with Amazon when they found out they got marijuna?

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